2d Force was a breath of fresh air. It was great not being one of the senior Operators there as I was back in Okinawa. In fact, in my new platoon, I wasn’t even senior enough for my own Team, and I was happy with being a very young ATL for 2d Force. It was great to have so many peers and solid guys I could learn from. In fact, I ended up in the most senior and experienced platoon at 2d Force. I was among legends. And it looked like we were finally going to war. When I say that I was among legends, I’m not making that shit up. Many in that platoon are now men of lore in the Marine Corps Special Operations community.
Bushhog was a young hearted southern dude. He was the senior TL. He was about medium height and build and very unassuming at first glance. His nonchalance and smirky smile belied the fact that he was a complete bad ass. He was stacked with schools and deployments and had won, I think, three or more Recon Team Leader of the Year Awards. He was the most mellow dude I’ve ever known. It didn’t matter what we were doing or what kind of crazy shit was going on around him, he refused to stress out and got pissed off at others when they did. He simply refused to let shit bother him or get inside his cognitive workspace. He was professional as fuck when it came to getting the mission done and he could drink all night long and still run his team into the ground the next morning without sleeping a wink. He used to do that all the time. He was a tough son of a bitch. I learned a lot from just being around him and watching how he handled shit. I got to go on patrol with him once when my team and his joined up in the field. He was a fucking ghost in the woods, like the Recon guys of old. And he knew how to run a team and put all his guys in a position to succeed. One of the greatest men I’ve ever met. A hell of a family man to boot. One of the best that I saw at making a family work while in the Marines.
Moshpit... Another TL. Moshpit was a monster and a force of nature. Like an earthquake with muscles. He was a lot younger than Bushhog, but he was just fucking damn good at everything. He was one of those guys who could go to the field all the time and still looked like a Greek god. He grew up fighting and saw no reason to change anything. He was smart as fuck and a clear thinker under pressure. Moshpit didn’t play. He took everything seriously. If you fucked with him and he didn’t appreciate it… didn’t matter if you were his best friend… you’d get a bottle full of dip spit to the face, or maybe a broken ankle. No shit. Both of those things happened, and more. In spite of that, he was a very thoughtful guy, and cared deeply about his guys. He would fight for his tribe as viciously as he’d fight for himself, if not more.
We were out in Arizona doing some Military Freefall shit and calling in air strikes a month or so after I got to 2d Force. Moshpit and I were having a beer one night on the outside patio of the bar. We knew war was coming. It was on the back of everyone’s mind. I don’t know why he told me this because he didn’t know me that well yet. I think we just had a healthy mutual respect for each other by then.
“Hey man, promise me something.”
“If I ever get burned up real bad or anything, do me a favor, and just take out your .45 and finish it right there for me.”
“Ok, man. Me too.” I said.
Moshpit didn’t just say shit. If he said it he meant it. I did too.
In Afghanistan in 2009 Moshpit’s gun truck was hit by an IED. The extra fuel cans on the truck ruptured and added to the inferno. He lived through it but was a quad amputee with something like 90% of his body covered in 3rd degree burns. All of the Doctors were amazed that he survived at all. He was just that fucking tough. He was the most injured man in the VA healthcare system until he succumbed to his war wounds and died several years later. I was in Afghanistan at the time he was hit, but I wasn’t there when it happened. I don’t know what I would have done if I had been. Bushog was killed in Afghanistan within a couple weeks of Moshpit being hit. Before, or after, I forget. I just remember it being a hard couple of weeks. Of the three Team Leaders of that platoon, Sammy is still alive, and he is likewise a Recon legend.
NOTE: Finally Somehow Home is a separate book from The Perfect Fucking Life, and is not yet in publication at the time of this post.
All this shit is written and created by Jason Lee Morrison © 2022